Inspecting a Home Inspector – What Should You Expect in a Home Inspector

You’ve decided you need a home inspector because you’re either buying a home or selling one, and you want to do it right. Out of curiosity you sit down at the computer and do a Google search to see what qualifications a good home inspector should have, and you get a little scared.

The first thing you see is a group of ads for home inspection courses. You’ve heard of people buying bogus college degrees online, but can Joe Anybody become a home inspector the same way? The image of a TV commercial comes to mind. You know, the one where the doctor is on the phone talking a guy through an operation. No thanks!

So, how do you find a truly qualified home inspector? The first thing to try is to ask trusted friends or business acquaintances for their recommendations. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good “word of mouth” lead. Requirements vary from state to state and place to place, so you need to find a good local inspector. Save the bulk of your computer research for checking out the names you’ve been given.

You need an inspector who literally knows houses inside and out and is thoroughly acquainted with state, county, and city regulations. Start asking questions. Interview each prospective home inspector. Let him inform you by describing the inspections he does and why he thinks you should choose him. Here’s a list of possible questions you could ask.

* Is he certified by the proper state, county, or city agencies? What license number does he have? His license number is a great way to know how long he has been in business. The lower the license number, the longer he has been in business. Check to see if he displays his license number on his website.

* What trade associations does he or she belong to and what certificates does he or she have? (For instance, the American Society of Home Inspectors is an excellent organization. There are organizations in each state as well.)

* What’s his educational background? Does he keep up to date with the changes in the industry?

* How many years of experience does he have inspecting homes, and how many has he inspected?

* Does he have a background as a contractor or engineer? (It’s not necessary for an inspector to have an engineering degree or to have been a contractor for twenty years, but the principles learned from such education and experience are valuable.)

* Is he a full time inspector?

* May you accompany him when he does the inspection? (This is typically recommended, but you must not hinder or distract the inspector. You should not get near any open electric areas or get on the roof with him due to safety concerns.)

* How long will the inspection take? (The average is one hour per thousand square feet, but this can vary depending on the house and those who are present.)

* Does the inspector get on roofs when possible? Does he get in crawlspaces when they’re accessible?

* What kind of report will you receive, and when will you receive it? (Most home inspection companies offer onsite reports. Many will provide a preventive maintenance manual as well.)

Here are a couple more guidelines to consider. You should shy away from inspectors who criticize their competition. Don’t go with the lowest price. Go with the one with the best qualifications.

Incidentally, the cost of inspection services is highly variable. It depends on the level of experience of the inspector and the level of services provided. Cost is also determined in part by the size and value of the property inspected. An inspection of an eight thousand square foot home will cost more than one for a two thousand square foot home.

The inspector you’re looking for needs to have an understanding of basic construction practices and mechanical systems. He should understand how buildings are constructed and how the systems work. A good inspector will have a talent for making observations which provide indications of problems or potential problems. This talent comes from years of experience in inspecting homes.

Of course, the inspector must have the skills necessary to issue the inspection report. After all, that’s what you’re hiring him to do for you.

Best Experiences Can Be Found in Home Inspector Schools

The role of the home inspection in real estate transaction is powerful. Deals in residential properties depend on the judgment provided by home inspectors. A very good home inspector means the one with good skills and knowledge. All of these start at home inspector schools. In school, the whole process of home inspection is tackled and also the opportunity the profession brings to an individual.

There are different kinds of courses offered in different schools and training centers. Students can choose any of these depending on their time and resources. Classroom courses offer the curriculum where the students are required to study home inspection class at school or training centers. The Home study or Online courses are offered to those individuals who prefer to study at the comfort of their homes, managing their own time and resources. Questions are answered through online also. Some training centers provide the Continuing Education. This is offered for marketing course, technical course or specialty course, depending on the needs of the applicant. The basics of the inspection are vital in producing licensed, certified or qualified inspectors. What the individuals learn is the knowledge that no cost can compare.

The home inspection process involves the steps being done prior and during the arrival at the site, the process during the inspection, communicating the findings and reporting. Home inspection follows specific guidelines in structural inspection. It is also the same with dynamics of the house structure wherein the weight, movement, wind and water, and internal stresses are taken into consideration. The foundation inspection includes inspecting the home’s footing’s, foundation walls, block foundation, poured concrete, brick and wood foundation, and piles, piers and beams. Home inspector schools provide tips on inspecting crawl spaces like accessing and inspecting the floor, ventilation and insulation. Inspecting the roof structure means checking the framing members, roof trusses and sheathing, water penetration and attic moisture.

The exterior inspection is one important part of the inspection. This includes the inspection of trim, windows, doors, areas of the house (steps, porches, balconies, patios, driveways, etc) and garage. One of the services done in home inspection is inspection of roofs. Home inspector is understood to have knowledge about the different types of roofs, the equipments needed and the natural enemies of roofs. Electrical and plumbing systems are part of the process and the same with the heating and cooling systems, insulation and ventilation systems.

A home inspector upon discovering flaws uses his or her judgment in inspecting. The checklist is reviewed and findings are filled-in on the report. An advanced home inspection company nowadays uses software that generates a formatted report. Good and unbiased reports usually win the trust of the home buyers and sellers. A Federal Housing Administration or FHA home inspector also provides a detailed report to protect the lenders and assures that the property is habitable.

Home inspector schools are really homes of certified home inspectors. Basic knowledge about home inspection is introduced in schools. An importance must be placed as early as this stage in order to instill to individuals what are the roles of the home inspection profession to the real estate world.

Why Is It Necessary To Hire Your Own Independent Home Inspector?

It is a positive and a much needed change that home buyers are hiring their own home inspectors now, rather than hiring an inspector as recommended by their agent. Many of these home buyers specifically decline the home inspector just because their agent recommended him. However, there are still people who hire inspectors as recommended by their agent. This change has occurred because many of the buyers have come to understand that the inspector may not work in their best interest if he is suggested by the realtor or agent.

To understand the importance of home inspection and hiring an independent home inspector, you need to understand the following questions:

Why home inspection is necessary?

One of the most important decisions that you will make in your life involves buying a home. As a matter of fact consider yourself privileged if you get an opportunity to buy a home even once in your lifetime. When this decision is so important, it is advisable that you buy a home for the worth of the amount you are ready to spend on it. This can be done by making sure that the home you are about to buy is in good condition. For this you need a home inspection, which is a process where a thorough evaluation of the home in question is done by a professional expert. The inspector will perform the following tasks while he undertakes an in-depth and impartial study of the home:

  • Check the foundation, physical structure, mechanical systems, heating and cooling systems, electrical connections and equipments, etc.
  • Will evaluate which items need repairs or replacements.
  • He will also give you an estimate of remaining useful life of major parts of the house including the roof.

You can accompany your home inspector while he goes for home inspection, so that you can ask him questions at the time of actual inspection taking place. Once the inspection is over and the inspector has taken notes of everything, you can expect to have a detailed report of the inspection within 24 hours. Remember this is a confidential document and the inspector is not allowed to show this report to anyone else except you, not even the agent.

Why hire an independent home inspector?

If you hire an inspector recommended by your agent, there are chances that the inspector will make a report that will not be totally honest. He may rush through the inspection and report generation to expedite the process; he may not mention certain facts which could lead to cancellation of the deal. This is not true for every inspector, but there is definitely some kind of pressure on an inspector if he is recommended by an agent.

If you really want an unbiased and authentic home inspection report, which is prepared for your interest only then it is better to hire your own independent inspector. You can find such inspectors by searching for them online, many home inspectors are canvassing themselves on internet these days.